Soap from Seeds

ODAM prepares to launch “Paruva Kaalam”, a Fairtrade soap produced by local Self Help Groups

Usha making ODAMs new soap

What’s your earliest memory involving a smell?” After a moment’s hesitation, the ODAM staff give a flurry of responses, “Jasmine”; “Oranges”, “Sandalwood”; “The smell when the rain comes” suggests Seemai.

However, this isn’t just the ODAM staff reminiscing about their childhood, but an important research excerise, to help design ODAM’s very own Fairtrade soap- “Paruva Kaalam.”

Together with Design Impact, an American non-profit creative solutions company, ODAM have spent the last year perfecting the texture, colour and scent of their new soap to appeal to both Western and Indian consumers.


Produced from glycerin, a natural by-product of ODAM’s biodiesel plant, the soap is infused with a variety of locally grown flowers and fruits including jasmine, coconut and sugarcane. The project aims to provide employment for the local agricultural workers of Narikudi, many of whom earn less then $1 a day, and ODAM’s women’s self-help groups.

Currently ODAM are finalising the packaging for “Paruva Kaalam” which will be available soon in four scents representing each Tamil season: Spring, Summer, Winter and Rain.

Read the fascinating story of ODAM’s Fairtrade soap project on Design Impact’s blog:

Soap from seedshttp://www.d-impact.org/blog/?p=38

Fruits, Vegetables, and Brainstormshttp://www.d-impact.org/blog/?p=176

Developing a soap brandhttp://www.d-impact.org/blog/?p=244

My strength is boldness: http://www.d-impact.org/blog/?m=201009